The pause in General Election 2017 campaigning has earned Prime Minister Theresa May a respite from the onslaught of protests about her ‘dementia tax’.
But what is her policy proposal and is the controversy stirred up by her rivals really merited?
Let’s take a look in more detail to find out:
Why is it called a dementia tax?
The phrase dementia tax comes from sufferers having to pay for long term care in their old age because they cannot look after themselves if they have the condition
Who pays for their care now?
Older people with assets worth more than £23,250 have to pay towards their care, with no cap on the amount. If they stay at home or have a partner living there, the property is not sold as the cost of care is much cheaper
What does the Tory manifesto say?
Older people with assets of £100,000 or more will receive means-tested long term care, with the bill deducted from any estate worth more than £100,000 on their death.
Will the bill be capped?
Yes, says Prime Minister Theresa May, but she refuses to be drawn on how much that limit will be. Rather she says, the level will be set in consultation.
“We will come forward with a government green paper. And that consultation will include an absolute limit on the amount people have to pay for their care costs,” she said.
Has a cap level been suggested?
A year or so ago, the Dilnot Report put forward a cap of £72,000 on care costs, but then Prime Minister David Cameron decided not to put the proposal before MPs, so nothing was done.
Is the dementia tax fair to homeowners?
The average UK house price is £215,847, so those with the cheapest houses are likely to lose the least – in the case of an average home the care bill today would be £115,847, assuming there is no cap on fees.
With the £72,000 care cap, that would allow the owner of an average home to keep £143,847.
Of course, those who do not own a home would be at a financial advantage.